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$56 mil for education, training, work package

Budget 2003: $56m plan to get all young people into education, training or work announced

Budget 2003 contains a comprehensive package of initiatives to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are involved in education, training or work or other options by 2007, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

The $56.6 million package includes expanding the Gateway programme to 12,000 secondary school students a year, funding 2,500 additional Modern Apprenticeships annually, reintroducing student allowances for some 16 and 17 year olds and introducing specialist programmes to help young people make the transition from school to training or work.

Helen Clark and Social Services and Employment Minister and Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey today visited KPR Catering at Wellington’s Queens Wharf Events Centre. The company is currently providing hospitality industry work placements for Wainuiomata High School year 13 students Michael Beattie and Dayna Young as part of the Gateway programme, which is a key feature of the package announced today.

Helen Clark said the government believes that all young people should be in education, training, or a job.

“Giving young people a good start and building their skills is essential if they are to have the opportunity to move into meaningful employment. The package we are announcing today targets the group of young people who neither enrol in tertiary study nor get a job after leaving school.

“It is estimated that, at any point in time, this group comprises 10 to 17 per cent of those aged between 15 and 19, or approximately 27,000 to 45,000 young people. We do not want this wastage of young people to continue.

“Both the Labour and Progressive partners in the coalition government made firm manifesto commitments to work with this group of young people as matter of priority.

“Last October the government also signed a formal memorandum with the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs last adopting the formal goal that by 2007, all 15-19 year olds will be engaged in appropriate education, training, work or other options which will lead to long term economic independence and well-being. . . / 2 “The package announced today signals our firm intention to realise this goal,” Helen Clark said.

Steve Maharey said the package involves significantly expanding successful programmes introduced by the Labour-Progressive government and increasing the support available for young people to move successfully from school to adult life.

“Many young people stop structured learning too soon and lack the basic skills needed in the modern workforce. We need to build up a broader range of bridges to work in recognition of the fact that school is not always the best learning environment for some young people.”

The Education and Training Leaving Age package involves (all figures over four years unless stated): expanding the Gateway programme, which is currently being piloted in 63 schools, to all 1-5 decile secondary schools by 2007 (a total of 203 schools), meaning it will be available to some 12,000 students annually ($23.6m); increasing the number of Modern Apprentices from the current 5,000 to 7,500 from 2006 onwards ($14.6m); piloting an intensive support programme in the Auckland region for 100 young people annually who are leaving state care to help them live independently ($7.1m); introducing regionalised programmes across the country targeting early school leavers to assist them to enter training, further education or paid employment ($5.4m); expanding the support available to young people who have completed youth training programmes and are now in the workforce ($3.7m); enabling 16 and 17 year olds who have completed year 13 at school to apply for student allowances ($1.9m); and piloting an individualised support programme for 30 young people in each of three communities in 2004 to test different ways of supporting them into work or further training ($290,000). Pilot programmes will be evaluated and expanded if successful in future years.

Steve Maharey said the government does not intend raising the school leaving age as part of developing the Education and Training Leaving Age strategy.

“We expect, however, that these initiatives will see some students staying on at school because they will be able to mix school and work-based study and, for example, build credits towards an apprenticeship. Other initiatives provide support for those who have already left school, but who lack essential skills to live and work in modern New Zealand,” Steve Maharey said.

Gateway The Gateway programme was introduced in 2001 and provides senior school students (years 11-13) with a range of structured learning opportunities in workplaces. Learning opportunities are integrated with students’ school-based studies. For some students, Gateway provides the opportunity to make progress in gaining a national qualification in their career of choice. For others, it allows more general skills to be applied in a work context, helping students to better understand the relevance of such skills and their classroom learning. 1,000 students in 24 schools, and over 200 employers participated in the pilot programme during 2001 and 2002. It was expanded to a further 39 schools in 2003.

Gateway will be progressively expanded to all 1-5 decile secondary schools, making it available to 12,000 students annually in 203 schools from 2007. The expansion will see Gateway opportunities offered to 5,000 students in 2004.

Gateway Four year cost of expansion: $23.562 million Number of young people assisted annually at full roll-out: 12,000 students

Modern Apprenticeships Modern Apprenticeships was a ‘100 days’ policy introduced by the incoming Labour-led government in 2000. Modern Apprenticeships offer work-based learning for young people (16-21 years), combining the best aspects of traditional apprenticeships with new features to assist more young people to get access to employment-based training and achieve national qualifications. It has grown rapidly, with 5,102 Modern Apprentices learning on the job across 28 industries as at 31 March 2003.

Modern Apprenticeships will be expanded to 6,000 places by December 2003 and then to 7,500 places during 2006.

Modern Apprenticeships Four year cost of expansion: $14.574 million Number of young people assisted annually at full roll-out: 7,500 Modern Apprentices

Transition from Care to Independence This pilot programme will work with 100 young people each year aged 15-17 in the Auckland region who are leaving state care to live independently. Support will be provided prior to, and for up to two years after, these young people are discharged from state care. Support will be individualised according to the particular needs of the young person concerned and could involve, for example, contracted support services from community social service agencies, the assignment of a personal advisor and/or financial assistance to enable them to set up a home for themselves in the community.

Transition from Care to Independence Four year cost of pilot programme: $7.138 million Number of young people assisted annually in pilot programme: 100

Youth Transition to Work regional initiatives Work and Income Regional Commissioners will develop or enhance existing services for young people who are leaving school early (those aged 15-17 years old) without concrete plans to enter education, training or work. Support provided to these young people will be designed to prevent them from entering the pool of unemployment benefit recipients once they reach the qualifying age of 18. Each of Work and Income’s 13 regions will have the flexibility to design support services that meet the particular needs of local young people. Regional programmes will be evaluated and good examples will be expanded to other parts of the country. Likely support services include: contracted work broker services like the Canterbury Development Corporation’s Action Works programme providing Work and Income specialist staff to work with marae, school-based, Pacific and other groups supporting local young people; and in partnership with other organisations, establishing community-based ‘one stop shops’ for young people offering services like career development and budget advice. Up to 650 young people will be catered for individually. Programmes benefiting a wider range of young people will also be developed under this initiative.

Youth Transition to Work regional initiatives Four year cost of programme: $5.438 million Number of young people assisted annually: 650 directly, more indirectly

Youth Training post-placement support Providing additional support for young people who have completed youth training programmes once they are in the workforce was recommended in Building Futures, the review of training opportunities and youth training which reported to the government in May 2002. Advice and mentoring will be introduced for these young people, including support for them to continue learning once they start work (for example, to complete a qualification part-time). An incentive payment will also be piloted for youth training providers whose learners achieve sustainable employment or further education outcomes. Up to 1,800 young people will be assisted each year under this expanded programme.

Youth Training post-placement support Four year cost of expansion: $3.738 million Number of young people assisted annually at full roll-out : up to 1,800

Allowances for 16-17 year olds Eligibility to apply for student allowances will be restored from 1 January 2004 to 16 and 17 year olds who have completed year 13 high schooling, or who have success in University Bursary/NCEA Level 3 if they have not completed year 13. This removes the anomalous situation some young people contemplating tertiary study find themselves in largely because of the month in which their birthday falls. Eligibility criteria to obtain student allowances will be the same as for older students. It is estimated that 392 16-17 year olds will qualify for student allowances over the next four years.

A pilot programme will also provide assistance with living costs for a small group of young people who have not completed year 13, but for whom alternative education options will be more beneficial and who need to move away from home to pursue these options. Equine education programmes like those offered by Telford Rural Polytechnic in Balclutha are examples of the type of alternative education options it is anticipated this initiative will support. Policy work to further develop this proposal is still to be completed.

Allowances for 16-17 year olds Four year cost of expansion: $1.932 million Number of young people assisted annually: approximately 100 students will qualify for student allowances annually, further young people will get support with living costs as part of the alternative education changes (proposal still being developed)

Career Planning Pilot for at-Risk Youth Three projects assisting 30 young people each will be piloted in three communities during 2004 (costs spread over fiscal years 2003/04 and 2004/05). The pilots will be run by Career Services and will focus on young people who have left school, are too young to qualify for welfare assistance, and who are considered ‘at-risk’ because they have no concrete plans to enter further education or employment. The pilots will use a model developed by Career Services in Whangarei and will test a range of intensive support and motivational services. The pilots will identify the best ways to help this group of young people to set clear, well-informed career goals and follow them through. Information gathered will be used to enhance career information, advice and guidance support already offered to young people.

Career Planning Pilot for at-Risk Youth Cost of pilot programme in 2004: $290,000 Number of young people in pilot programme: 90

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